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Climategate: Something's Rotten in Denmark ... and East Anglia, Asheville, and New York City (PJM Exclusive)

The familiar phrase was spoken by Marcellus in Shakespeare’s Hamlet -- first performed around 1600, at the start of the Little Ice Age. “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” is the exact quote. It recognizes that fish rots from the head down, and it means that all is not well at the top of the political hierarchy. Shakespeare proved to be Nostradamus. Four centuries later -- at the start of what could be a new Little Ice Age -- the rotting fish is Copenhagen.

The smell in the air may be from the leftover caviar at the banquet tables, or perhaps from the exhaust of 140 private jets and 1200 limousines commissioned by the attendees when they discovered there was to be no global warming evident in Copenhagen. (In fact, the cold will deepen and give way to snow before they leave, an extension of the Gore Effect.)

But the metaphorical stench comes from the well-financed bad science and bad policy, promulgated by the UN, and the complicity of the so-called world leaders, thinking of themselves as modern-day King Canutes (the Viking king of Denmark, England, and Norway -- who ironically ruled during the Medieval Warm Period this very group has tried to deny). His flatterers thought his powers “so great, he could command the tides of the sea to go back."

Unlike the warmists and the compliant media, Canute knew otherwise, and indeed the tide kept rising. Nature will do what nature always did -- change.

It's the data, stupid

If we torture the data long enough, it will confess. (Ronald Coase, Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences, 1991)

The Climategate whistleblower proved what those of us dealing with data for decades know to be the case -- namely, data was being manipulated. The IPCC and their supported scientists have worked to remove the pesky Medieval Warm Period, the Little Ice Age, and the period emailer Tom Wigley referred to as the "warm 1940s blip," and to pump up the recent warm cycle.

Attention has focused on the emails dealing with Michael Mann’s hockey stick and other proxy attempts, most notably those of Keith Briffa. Briffa was conflicted in this whole process, noting he "[tried] hard to balance the needs of the IPCC with science, which were not always the same,” and that he knew “ ... there is pressure to present a nice tidy story as regards ‘apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data.’”

As Steve McIntyre has blogged:

Much recent attention has been paid to the email about the “trick” and the effort to “hide the decline.” Climate scientists have complained that this email has been taken “out of context.” In this case, I’m not sure that it’s in their interests that this email be placed in context because the context leads right back to … the role of IPCC itself in “hiding the decline” in the Briffa reconstruction.

In the area of data, I am more concerned about the coordinated effort to manipulate instrumental data (that was appended onto the proxy data truncated in 1960 when the trees showed a decline -- the so called "divergence problem") to produce an exaggerated warming that would point to man’s influence. I will be the first to admit that man does have some climate effect -- but the effect is localized. Up to half the warming since 1900 is due to land use changes and urbanization, confirmed most recently by Georgia Tech’s Brian Stone (2009), Anthony Watts (2009), Roger Pielke Sr., and many others. The rest of the warming is also man-made -- but the men are at the CRU, at NOAA’s NCDC, and NASA’s GISS, the grant-fed universities and computer labs.